“Nothing But the Truth”
By Will Power
January 17, 2010 -- Conservative shock-jocks are not noted for political sensitivity. But Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson have jammed their feet so far up their mouths they can't tell a shoelace from a colon.
'Haiti made a pact with the devil," says Robertson, "and now is being punished."
"Don't send money to Haiti," says Limbaugh. "It's just Obama's plot to influence third-world nations."
Whew! I suppose that Hurricane Katrina was just punishment for slavery, and the San Francisco Earthquake a penalty for the whorehouses on the Barbary Coast.
Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. It's government was inefficient at best and nonexistent at worst. Unemployment was above 30%. Literacy is low. Health care is mostly unavailable.
The United States has sent the US Marines into Haiti many times. Sometimes we sent the Marines to restore order. Other times we were more interested in regime change. But if we follow Limbaugh's advice and refuse to send aid, the situation will become Genocide by neglect.
The Haiti Earthquake was a tragedy. But the hundred million bucks we are sending is about one day's worth of the cost of the War in Afghanistan.
I hope the people in the United States are not as hard-hearted as Limbaugh and Robertson. The people of Haiti need help NOW, and bad-mouthing government efforts to assist in such a tragedy would be comical if the situation were not so serious.
It is in the long-term interest of the United States to see Haiti survive and be politically and economically independent. We need to see the earthquake as an opportunity, not a disaster.
The Chinese word for opportunity and disaster are the same.
We need to help Haiti, in spite of the rich, tightwad religious right-wing.
Will Power is a retired teacher who holds a masters degree in creative writing.